Seasons In The Sun


Happy birthday Shane Filan, 31 today.

Parental love just biochemistry?


Happy birthday Bill Watterson, 52 today.

The ODT has always had good comic strips. Among the current ones is Calvin & Hobbes to which anyone who has a child, or has been a child, will relate.

However, my enjoyment of the cartoons isn’t confined to six times a week in the paper. I am fortunate to own the three volume Complete Calvin & Hobbes which brings me fresh amusement each time I open it.


Mother: What’s wrong, what’s the matter?

Calvin: Do you think love is nothing but a biochemical reaction designed to make sure our genes get passed on?

Mother: Whatever it is, it’s all that’s keeping me from strangling you right now.

Calvin: Mum’s midnight reassurances are never very reassuring.

And one most journalists, and anyone else skilled in work avoidance, will relate to:

Calvin: The teacher reminded us that we only have a week left to finish our leaf collections, so we ought to be half done now.

Hobbes: You haven’t even started.

Calvin: Yeah but I work better under pressure.

Hobbes: Actually you work ONLY under pressure.

Calvin: That way the work time is more miserable but there’s less of it.

Monday’s quiz


1. What is  litotes?

2. What does Puketapu mean?

3. Who said: “New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human.”?

4. What are  the capitals of Paraguay and Uruguay?

5. What does the Scoville scale measure?

Be careful what you wish for


The snowman was a few hundred metres from the top of the Lindis Pass where it was -2 at 4.30 pm.

His sign says Fiji.

One voice for wool pays off already


Agriculture Minister David Carter launched Wool Group last week and already the united voice for the industry is paying off.

The ODT reports:

After the various wool industry factions and parties agreed late last week to end hostilities, they asked the newly-formed Wool Group to back a funding application to the Foundation for Research Science and Technology for four research projects.

The man responsible for uniting the industry behind the new Wool Group banner, Murray Horn, said such a request would not have been possible a few weeks ago because funders required industry unity before considering such applications.

The Wool Group consists of 17 representatives including farmers, brokers, agents, exporters, users and processors.

This is an industry good initiative which became necessary after farmers voted to stop paying wool levies to what was Meat & Wool NZ. It’s been replaced by Beef and Lamb NZ and its chair Mike Petersen has been invited to join the group.

That’s a sensible move. Anything which helps improve returns for wool will be good for the sheep industry as a whole.

Some people may be unhappy that Wool Group won’t be involved in commercial initiatives but those are best left to individual businesses so there is no risk of being accused of anti-competitive behaviour on world markets.

We were invited . . .


. . . to a friend’s 50th birthday party in New York today.

We were tempted but sometimes life gets in the way of temptation and this was one of those times.

It’s -1 degrees here and forecast to be in the 30s there.


July 5 in history


On July 5:

1295  Scotland and France formed an alliance, the beginnings of the Auld Alliance, against England.

1316  Battle of Manolada between the Burgundian and Majorcan claimants of the Principality of Achaea.

1321 Joan of The Tower, Queen consort of Scotland, was born (d. 1362).

1610  John Guy set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.

1687  Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.


1755 Sarah Siddons, British actress, was born (d. 1831).

1770  Battle of Chesma started, between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

Chios aivaz.jpg

1775  United States Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition.


1803 The Convention of Artlenburg led to the French occupation of Hanover.

1809  Battle of Wagram started.

Napoleon Wagram.jpg

1810  P.T. Barnum, American circus owner, was born (d. 1891).

1811  Venezuela declared independence from Spain.

1813  War of 1812: Three weeks of British raids on Fort Schlosser, Black Rock and Plattsburgh, New York began.

1814 War of 1812: Battle of Chippawa – American Major General Jacob Brown defeated British General Phineas Riall.


1830 France invaded Algeria.

1833 Admiral Charles Napier defeated the navy of the Portuguese usurper Dom Miguel at the third Battle of Cape St. Vincent.


1853 Cecil Rhodes, British founder of Rhodesia was born (d. 1902).


1865  The Salvation Army was founded in the East End of London.

Standard of the Salvation Army

1878 The coat of arms of the Baku governorate was established.

Baku gub coa n655.png

1881 A poll tax was imposed on Chinese people in New Zealand.

Poll tax imposed on Chinese

1884  Germany took possession of Cameroon.

1902 Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., American diplomat, was born (d. 1985)

1911 Georges Pompidou, French politician, was born (d. 1974).


1934  “Bloody Thursday” – Police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco.

1935  The National Labor Relations Act, which governs labour relations in the United States, is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1937  Spam, the luncheon meat, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam with cans.jpeg

1937  Highest recorded temperature in Canada, at Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan: 45°C (113°F).

1940  World War II: The United Kingdom and the Vichy France government broke off diplomatic relations.

1941  World War II: German troops reached the Dnieper River.

1943  The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history started.

Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Zschaeckel-206-35, Schlacht um Kursk, Panzer VI (Tiger I).jpg

1943 – World War II: An Allied invasion fleet sailed for Sicily.

1945 World War II: Liberation of the Philippines declared.

1946 The bikini was re-introduced in Paris.


1947 Larry Doby signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians baseball team, becoming the first black player in the American League.

1948 National Health Service Acts created the national public health systems in the United Kingdom.

The NHS Logo for England 

 1950  Huey Lewis, American musician (Huey Lewis and the News), was born.

1950 – Michael Monarch, American guitarist (Steppenwolf), was born.

1950 Korean War: Task Force Smith – First clash between American and North Korean forces.

1950 The Knesset passed the Law of Return which granted all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1951 William Shockley invented the junction transistor.

1954 John Wright, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1954 Jimmy Crespo, American guitarist (Aerosmith), was born.


1954 The BBC broadcast its first television news bulletin.

1954  Andhra Pradesh High Court was established.

Aphigh court.jpg

1958 Bill Watterson, American cartoonist, was born.

Calvin and Hobbes Original.png

1958 First ascent of Gasherbrum I, 11th highest peak on the earth.

1962  Algeria became independent from France.

1962 The Late Late Show, the world’s longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, aired on RTÉ One for the first time.


1970 Air Canada Flight 621 crashed near Toronto International Airport killing 109 people.


1971  The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years, is formally certified by President Richard Nixon.

1973 Catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, killed 11 firefighters.


1975  Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.


1975  Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal.

1977  Military coup in Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan was overthrown.

1979  Shane Filan, Irish musician (Westlife), was born.

1987 First instance of the LTTE using suicide attacks on Sri Lankan Army. The Black Tigers were born.

Ltte emblem.jpg

1989  Iran-Contra Affair: Oliver North was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service.


1995 Armenia adopted its constitution, four years after their independence from the Soviet Union.

1996  Dolly the sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.


1998  Japan launched a probe to Mars.

1999 – President Clinton imposed trade and economic sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2003 SARS was declared to be contained by the WHO.

2004  First Indonesian presidential election by the nation.

2009  Roger Federer won a record 15th Grand Slam title in tennis, winning a five set match against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon.

A dark-haired man is in the serving motion, which he is in all white clothing, and he has a redish-black tennis racket in his right hand

2009 The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire.


2009 Ethnic rioting broke out in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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